Only a few days remain before the start of the European Space Agency’s Cluster II mission, a unique expedition to explore the magnetosphere and revolutionise our understanding of the interaction between the Sun and Earth.
Following the successful completion of the Cluster II Flight Readiness Review on 23 June, final launch preparations are progressing smoothly and combined operations with the Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle are now under way. The dual launches, each involving two Cluster spacecraft built under the prime contractorship of ASTRIUM (former Dornier
Satellitensysteme GmbH, Germany), are currently scheduled for 15 July with a launch window opening at 14:40 CEST, 12:40 GMT and lasting 6 minutes, and 9 August from Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan.
A number of press events have been organised in various countries to coincide with both launches. The main press centre for the first launch will be located at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) at Darmstadt in Germany. Local press centres are also being set up in the other ESA establishments: ESRIN (Italy), ESTEC (The Netherlands), and VILSPA (Spain). See attachment for more detailed information and reply form to register at the various sites. [NOTE: Not attached – A.Y.]
Details of the second launch press event, which will be held in London (UK), will be available at a later date.
Cluster II Competition Attracts Record Entries.
A highlight of the first launch event at ESOC will be the announcement of the overall winner of ESA’s "Name the Cluster quartet" competition and the chosen names of the four Cluster II satellites.
Last February, members of the public in all of ESA’s 15 member states were asked to suggest the most suitable names for the Cluster II spacecraft. The satellites are currently known as flight models (FM) 5, 6, 7 and 8.
Competitors were asked to propose a set of four names (places, people, or things from history, mythology, or fiction, but not living persons) and explain in a few sentences the reasons for their choice.
After sifting through more than 5,000 entries from all over Europe and debating at length the merits of the various suggestions, the multinational jury eventually produced a list of 15 national prize winners — one from each ESA member state.
These finalists and their families have all won a 3-day trip to attend a special Cluster II launch event in one of these ESA establishments:
ESRIN (near Rome, Italy): winners from France, Ireland, Belgium.
VILSPA (near Madrid, Spain): winners from The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland.
ESTEC (near Amsterdam, The Netherlands): winners from Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria.
ESOC (in the Rhine Valley, Germany): winners from Italy, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom.
The Lucky 15.
The lucky national winners are:
Austria: VENTO, NUBO, FULMO, PLUVO entered by Andreas Rosenstingl (Vienna, A).
Belgium: ALBATROS, EAGLE, FALCON, HAWK entered by AndrÈ Borremans (Lembeek, B).
Denmark: ORIENTLIS, OCCIDENTALIS, AQUILONIUS, AUSTRALIS entered by Mia Stampe (Copenhagen, DK).
Finland: UKKO, ILMATAR, KOKKO, LOUHI entered by Ismo Hirvonen (Tampere, FI)
France: ADAGIO, ALLEGRO, LARGO, VIVACE entered by Daniel Lellouch (c/o Rehovot, Israel)
Germany: TRISTAN & ISOLDE, ROMEO & JULIA entered by Manuela Saal (Kˆln, D)
Ireland: IMBOLC, BELTAINE, LUGHNASA, SAMHAIN entered by Grainne Duncan (Coolock, IR).
Italy: GEA, URANO, TETI, CRONO entered by Paola Benna (Avigliana-To, I).
Netherlands: KIN, UINAL, TUN, KATUN entered by Ben Jasper Fayer (Hoogeven, NL).
Norway: CHLOROS, ERYTHROS, AUREUS, LUTEUS entered by Joar Vatnaland (c/o Leeds, UK).
Portugal: IXCHELL, ITZAMNA, MAUINA, RAINBOW entered by Carlos Fernando Carvalhido Oliveira (Porto, P).
Spain: DIVEE, BEEDY, EEROT, BROT entered by Sergi Porter (Barcelona, E).
Sweden: FLUTE, VIOLIN, CELLO, PIANO entered by Ola Carlstrˆm (Huddige, SW).
Switzerland: SOL…A, LUN…A, EOLIA, OND…A entered by Luciana Favre (Riddes, CH).